A fund established to "improve the character of the American people" by promoting eugenics and procreation by people of white colonial stock has a new president and a precarious future.
Race-based science might seem like a relic of the Victorian age, and eugenics an experiment in "human improvement" that passed away with Hitler.
But thanks in large part to the Pioneer Fund both subjects are still alive. Set up in to "improve the character of the American people" by promoting eugenics and procreation by people of white colonial stock, Pioneer has financed a number of leading race scientists, lavishing more than $500,000 a year on those who work to "prove" inherent racial differences that the vast majority of scientists regard as balderdash.
Now, with the death of its long-time president and the appointment of a Canadian race scientist to replace him, the Pioneer Fund may be nearing the end, with plans to spend down its remaining endowment in the next few years.
Harry F. Weyher died on March 27 in La Grange, N.C. A corporate lawyer educated at Harvard, Weyher had administered the fund since 1958, giving money to "scientists" in pursuit of the Orwellian goal of "human race betterment," but also to more "mainstream" groups like the Federation for American Immigration Reform.
Through the years, however, Weyher came to fund fewer organizations with even a claim to surface respectability, focusing money instead on individual scientists.
One of those people is Pioneer's new president, one of the most notorious race scientists in the world. Psychology professor Jean-Phillippe Rushton, who has been investigated for allegedly violating Canadian hate-speech laws, has been showered with Pioneer money in recent years. Tax records from 2000 show that his Charles Darwin Institute, based in Port Huron, Mich., received $473,835 — 73% of that year's grants.
Rushton, a British expatriate who teaches at the University of Western Ontario, first courted infamy in 1989 when he published work focusing on the sexual characteristics of different races. His findings: Blacks have larger genitals, breasts and buttocks — characteristics that Rushton alleged have an inverse relationship to brain size and, thus, intelligence.
When Rushton took the helm of the Pioneer Fund, he was joined on the board of directors by a scientist who may be even more extreme: Richard Lynn, a psychologist at the University of Ulster who published one of the most stunning recent examples of race science in the July 2002 issue of the eugenicist American Renaissance magazine.
Blacks are not only less intelligent than other races, Lynn asserted, but also "more psychopathic." Putting a new twist on the "science" that once supported slavery, Lynn concluded that because of their "psychopathic personalities," blacks are more aggressive than other races, less able to form long-term relationships, and more sexually promiscuous, reckless and prone to lying.
But Lynn's pal at Pioneer has identified at least one countervailing factor. "Blacks have a genetic edge," Rushton said, "when it comes to sports."